BY Emeka Mamah
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has urged residents of Damaturu, the state capital, to disregard the short message services (SMS) text being circulated by those he described as mischievous elements.
The governor said they wanted to cause disaffection between the Christian and Muslim communities in the state.
The message Gaidam was referring to read: “Christians are being attacked, while Churches are set ablaze in Damaturu; Yobe is boiling, following the incident between security agents and Boko Haram in the state capital, Monday.
“Thank you for your concern about these attacks and bombings in Damaturu. The burnt Churches in Damaturu are as follows: Church of Christ in Nigeria, COCIN; Regional Church Council, RCC, Headquarters at Pwari; COCIN Bakin Kogi, and Tracon Church.”
Gaidam, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said: “We wish to state categorically that the entire content of the text being circulated is false, misleading, mischievous and unfounded.”
He said there were no churches in Damaturu that were attacked, as claimed in the text message.
The governor said the unfortunate incident of last Monday ‘’affected all residents regardless of religious inclination,’’ adding that as everyone knows, members of the security forces were able to repel the attackers and restore law and order in the metropolis.
Gaidam, therefore, asked both Muslims and Christians in the state to continue to pray to the God to restore peace and security in Yobe State in particular and the nation in general.
He said people, who circulate false text messages, were apparently doing so to stir up religious tension but that they will not succeed.
Speaking on the Damaturu attacks and bombings, Yobe State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Idi Garba, however, said in a telephone interview that some churches were attacked and set ablaze by some armed Islamist groups in Jerusalem and Nasarawa wards of Damaturu during Monday evening’s attacks and bombings.